We often believe that having a consistent healthy natural hair care regimen guarantees growing long luscious hair. However, having overall wellness is what determines the health of your hair. You can be using quality natural hair products (Mane Bliss 😉) consistently, washing, deep conditioning, moisturising, and protecting the hair but your hair is still dry, breaking off, and the curls are unmanageable. How you eat significantly impacts your hair's health, growth, and quality. The foods we eat should contain vital nutrients and minerals to improve the health of our hair. Hair loss, excess shedding, dull appearance, hair breakage, excess matting, lifeless curls, and brittle hair are all common side effects of essential nutrients lacking for the proper functioning of our body.
One of the best ways to take care of your natural hair is to have a balanced diet to maintain and improve the health of your hair. What components are important in your diet to achieve healthy hair;
- Protein- Hair is made up of a heavily bonded protein called keratin. Keratin is rich in amino acids which are the building blocks of healthy hair and responsible for the hair's strength, elasticity, and structure. Due to many factors, it is natural for the hair's structure to weaken, therefore, protein in the diet is key to replenishing any lost protein levels in the hair, strengthening hair, and giving the curls that voluminous bouncy look. Foods rich in protein are all meats, tofu, chickpeas, beans, eggs, and chia seeds.
- Iron- Iron deficiency is a major cause of hair loss. Iron helps produce hemoglobin, a protein in our red blood cells that transport oxygen and other nutrients to our bodies cells. These nutrients go to our follicles which have active cells responsible for hair growth and the production of quality hair resistant to breakage. Iron deficiency will disrupt the transportation of these vital nutrients that affect hair growth and onset early on shedding. Foods rich in iron are spinach, red meats, legumes, turkey, and tofu.
- Vitamin A- All body cells need vitamins for growth and cell generation. Vitamin A is responsible for sebum production from our hair's sebaceous glands. Sebum is our natural oil that helps condition, lubricate, and protect curly hair. Foods rich in vitamin A are leafy greens, eggs, salmon, dairy, and fish.
- Vitamin D- Lack of Vitamin D has been linked to male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness caused by excess hair shedding. Foods rich in vitamin D are fatty fish, dairy, oranges, and eggs.
- Zinc- Zinc is known to help with tissue growth, repair, and other regenerative elements. Lack of zinc will lead to hair shedding and hair loss due to active cells in the follicles being affected and unable to allow for hair growth. Foods rich in zinc are red meats, poultry, seafood, beans, nuts, and whole grains.
- Biotin- It is a water-soluble vitamin that is known to help in growing thick strong healthy natural hair. Little biotin in the body results in weak brittle hair that can easily break off. Foods rich in biotin are avocado, salmon, banana, eggs, and sweet potatoes.
Be intentional with what you put in your body. Have a well-balanced diet that contains proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, minerals, and vitamins that will ensure your natural hair gets adequate nutrition for optimum healthy growth.